Margaret Cho says she's afraid to leave the safety of her own home as an Asian-American woman ... telling us, "outside it's cloudy with a chance of racism."
Despite that humorous phrasing, the comedian made it clear her fear is very real when she joined us Friday on "TMZ Live." She says the rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans has her feeling like there's a target on her.
Margaret says it's a really scary time in America, and she's especially rattled by the attacks on older Asian-American women.
While Margaret felt empowered by the Asian grandmother in San Francisco who fought off an alleged attacker last month with a piece of wood ... she says it was still a traumatizing moment for the Asian community, and yet another example of why she feels safer at home.
It's pretty shocking to hear an Emmy and five-time Grammy-nominated comedian/actress say she's afraid of becoming a hate crime victim, but Margaret says that's where we are today in this country ... and it's time for an awakening.